Budget Task Force: Places to look

By:  Diane Benjamin

Expecting Renner’s hand-picked budget task force to find cuts is laughable, so here’s some help for them:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8482

Salaries make up the largest part of the budget, so obviously every job needs to be assessed for its contribution to the City.  Adding personnel in Administration just means employees discovering vital work to do that didn’t matter at all a few years ago.  The below list is TOTAL compensation for 2014 for some questionable employees.


Start with the last one – Emily Bell.  She retired and received a huge payout for accumulated sick days.  If nobody is going to fight to get this ridiculous policy changed, 100 years from now employees will still have this perk.  NOWHERE in the private sector can employees get a fat check when they retire because they saved sick days!

Budget dudes/dudettes:  MILLIONS of bucks here from future retirements.  Got any guts?

Why does David Hales need so many assistants?

Why does Bloomington need a Budget Manager?  Either that person isn’t capable, isn’t allowed to do her job, or the task force is unnecessary.  Which one?

Why does Bloomington need a Budget Analyst?  See above

The Communication Manager doesn’t communicate – scrap that job

Community Engagement Manger?  Seriously?

How’s Economic Development and Marketing going?  Not well with all the vacant store fronts, how about leaving it up to the private sector when the City quits taxing citizens to death!  Raise taxes and they won’t matter anyway!

Imagine how much pension expense could be saved privatizing golf.  What else can you privatize?

I hope the budget task force has reviewed the employment positions themselves.  Something tells me they haven’t.




14 thoughts on “Budget Task Force: Places to look

  1. The budget task force is considering reducing the pensions for Policemen and Firemen. When is the last time Mr. Hales put his life on the line to protect the citizens?


  2. Going from the list top to bottom wasn’t as much as shock as going from the bottom to the top.

    I can definitely see a reason to axe the golf courses. What do they work 9 months or less out of the year too?

    David Hales, no surprise there and he should have been let go a long time ago. In fact he should have never been hired in the first place.

    Most businesses would have gotten rid of a lot of those positions and combined job responsibilities.

    ISU stopped allowing accumulation of sick days back in the late 1990’s. I don’t know of any business that allows it. Many won’t even tell you that you have x number of sick days allowed per year. They frown on people taking sick days. Also If you don’t use up your vacation by the end of the year it doesn’t carry over is the norm in business today. Few places allow accumulation and if they do they put a maximum on it.

    Taking a lump sum in that amount by Emily Bell should never be allowed. A policy should be made to stop the accumulation and anyone who has accumulated must take a payout over the same number of years of service. Anything left over when they pass away goes to the beneficiary. No more lump sum payouts until death.


  3. bureaucracies are best at protecting themselves and growing their size. Rarely do they add value as they grow. As they grow it requires ever increasing number of people just to coordinate everything and make sure all the correct checkboxes are checked. Government is the worst offender since it has no competition. This is clearly what is going on here as there is no reason to have all those positions except for David Hales to brag about how much he has grown the city government. Wish more people understood that is a bad thing


  4. I am truly amazed by the salaries being paid. Most of them don’t necessarily have civilian equivalents but the golf course does.

    Turf Specialist generally makes around $34,000-$38,000
    Greenskeeper (Seasonal) makes around $16,000-$24,000
    Golf Retail Manager- averages $31,000

    What Retail Manager or Greens Keeper ends up with a pension at 20 years? 30 years? Government ability to pay someone with someone else’s money makes it too easy to give ridiculous pay increases. It is obvious we are being ripped off. What percentage of the Community uses the golf courses anyway? 10%-20%? Do the courses make money or do we continually have to subsidize them? Those greens better be perfect at these prices and the golf paths must be paved with gold.


  5. Talk of scenarios . . . what would it look like if x position, y service, or z facility were closed. No consideration of cutting admin’s T & E. That’s Travel and Entertainment. I wonder if labor will revolt that someone (or two) will lose their job, but the mayor, council and their admin staff can still eat, drink and see the world.


      1. Why?? No one at the City reads or enforces the codes. Maybe that department can be completely eliminated. Flooding also affects property values and quality of life.


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